Canadian Women’s Foundation puts in the work for gender equality

The non-profit's new campaign aims to keep the "tireless" efforts of women and girls going at a tipping point for the movement.


There’s still work to be done on gender equality, but the progress that has been made is thanks to the tireless women and girls who have unrelentingly pursued that goal.

That’s the central message behind “The Tireless,” a new campaign for The Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF), a non-profit that funds Canadian programs addressing issues including gender-based violence, economic insecurity, empowering girls and making leadership more inclusive.

The minute-long spot by agency of record Forsman & Bodenfors Canada features a montage of female Canadian heroes like Roberta Bondar (the country’s first female astronaut), hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, tennis champion Bianca Andreescu and young Indigenous water activist Autumn Peltier intermixed with scenes of other Canadian women and girls in their day-to-day lives.

The video is airing on television and online, with additional OOH, social and experiential elements across the Greater Toronto Area.

The goal of “The Tireless” is to rally people around the movement in a concrete way through a positive and aspirational message. “We recognized that the advances for gender equality in Canada really came from individuals and communities pushing for change on the grassroots level,” Andrea Gunraj, VP of public engagement at the CWF, tells strategy. “That has always been a key inspiration for the Foundation – our goal, really, is to help amplify and fuel this movement.”

While gains have been made on the issue of gender equality, Gunraj says many people have noted that the movement could “easily stall or even backslide.” Gunraj adds there’s a sense that “we can’t wait anymore for equity, safety, and better futures. The stakes have gotten too high, not only for women and girls, but for entire families and communities at large.”

A survey conducted by the CWF in 2017 found that young women are particularly concerned, with 49% believing that the country is at risk of losing progress that has been made and 69% of millennial women fearing that Canada will make no further progress on gender equality, according to Gunraj. After all, gender equality gains have not been equitably distributed across all groups of women. Racialized and Indigenous women, for example, experience the highest rates of violence and the largest pay gaps.

Gunraj says the campaign seeks to address these issues by serving as a “rallying cry” for the movement, highlighting diverse women whose influence is felt in different social spaces, be it their home, work, neighbourhoods or communities.